Monday, December 15, 2008

More Idiocy From Jim Cramer

Last week I saw yet another instance of CNBC's mad- and I mean truly mad- man Jim Cramer's inability to understand logic.

This time, Cramer was arguing with Erin Burnett's reasoned, calm presentation of evidence showing that short selling without the uptick rule has not significantly affected equity markets. And certainly has not 'caused' this fall's market collapse.

At issue was the fact that statistics show no actual, significant downward stock price pressure purely as a result of downtick selling.

Cramer was having none of it. First, he railed against the abolition of the uptick rule. When Burnett presented the data she had read, Jimbo then switched arguments.

Instead of rebutting Burnett's numbers or logic, he said something like,

'Well, there are better ways to drive a stock's price down. Like ETFs and puts. Shorting isn't actually my preferred way to manipulate a stock price.'

Okay. Makes sense.

Doesn't that, on the face of it, put Cramer on Burnett's side? Didn't he just argue that the uptick rule is irrelevant, because shorting isn't even the best way to give a big push downward to stock prices?

Apparently not, because Cramer continued his rant against the rule's removal.

Mind you, the logical next step in Cramer's position regarding options and ETFs is that there is basically no good regulatory solution for stock manipulation because, even without an uptick rule, there are 'better' ways to manipulate stock prices, such ways never having had any rules constraining their usage.

This continued about three times, before Burnett, always smiling, just stopped trying.

I don't watch Cramer at any length or with any regularity. But if this is his brand of reasoning, I wonder why anyone would watch this clown?

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